bps bucketkids shrunkAs the summer comes to a close, our Get the Lead Out program ends and the Maumee River looks better than ever. Fish, birds, and other local animals thank the 79 brave volunteers who walked along the river in search for lead sinkers, fishing line, and hooks that are recognized as some of the biggest threats to wildlife. Every April, the Maumee River is used as an important breeding ground for walleye and white bass. Thousands of fishermen crowd the shores of the river to catch these abundant fish. This is known as the annual walleye run. As you can imagine, tons of lead, line, and hooks are caught on trees and rocks or left on the shore by the fishermen, often inadvertently. Various types of wildlife often find themselves entangled in fishing line or hooked and also poisoned by eating harmful lead sinkers. Rusty hooks can also harm humans.

To counteract this, volunteers covered a huge area of riverbank this summer. In early June, twenty Toledo ZOOTeens and their adult mentors, kicked off the season by cleaning up from Jerome Rd. to Bluegrass Island in Side Cut Metropark. Our public events were held on July 19th and August 7th at Side Cut Metropark. We partnered with a crew from Bass Pro Shop for these two exciting events. A total of 40 volunteers came out for the public events and removed trash from the Towpath Trail, Silver Lake, and Bluegrass Island banks. In July and August, groups like the Ft. Meigs YMCA Leaders Club got the lead out in Towpath and Buttonwood. It’s truly amazing how much lead and line is left at these different sites. After the line and lead are extracted from these sites we recycle them. In total, 79 volunteers gave 135 hours of volunteer work for the Get the Lead Out effort. Join us next summer for Get the Lead Out to see how clean we can make our waterways!